The Collectors Market -

Judge Dredd

Senior Layout Artist
kiwifarms.net
Might want to correct that remark about Dreamcast cases. I own a small Dreamcast collection and from what I can tell they're identical to regular CD jewel cases.
Just to clear up the Dreamcast case thing. I'm guessing PAL cases were different, because in the UK we got these strange double sided cases for every game.

Dreamcast Case.jpg
The problem with them is was barely anywhere to get a grip on the front side of the case, and there was a weak point next to the hinge that would snap at the slightest bit of force, and I do mean slight. Opening them as you would a normal jewel case would likely break it, like this.
Dreamcast Break.jpg
And because the plastic there is so thin, good luck trying to glue it back on.

The back half can contain a disc, and is more sturdy, but contains the manual and is harder to open.

That and fakes are flooding the market and everywhere. However I do like newly released games though and might keep me interested in my Genesis collection.
Fakes are interesting to me. YouTuber 8-bit guy got shit from retro collectors when he printed fresh labels for a machine he was restoring. He started adding subtle watermarks after that. Though if it's impossible to tell if it's a fake, does it really matter? Obviously people shouldn't be conned, but why put a high price on the genuine version if everything about it is indistinguishable from the original? It's not like a painting, these things were mass produced in factories.

One thing related to fakes I'm interested in is high quality reproductions, or even original productions. Especially for games that never had boxes or had bad boxes or bad box art.

This whole video is worth a watch, but timestamp for where he shows off his Christmas Nights reproduction box, and at 8:30 he shows his English Policenauts cover.
I'd prefer a "fake" for $20 of that quality, than a "real" copy for $300 or whatever the collectors market sells them for.

Did the digital market really change things so much as to destroy the "retro collectible" market?
I think it depends on the game.

Generally speaking, digital re-releases don't seem to effect the retro collectors all that much. Some want original hardware. At one time PS2 and Gamecube emulation wasn't fast or accurate enough to play most stuff. That's changed, but I don't know about other 3D consoles. I think there's a nostalgia element to it as well.

I vaguely remember one game (I forgot which, one of those high price classics like Earthbound, Misadventures of Tron Bonne, or Panzer Dragoon) causing frustration in the collectors market when it got a digital re-release after years of not having one. I don't know if the price crashed, but they weren't happy.

what is the real fight? Is it the process of going out of your home, traveling and finding a seller? Or is it as simple as clicking "buy now" and getting what you desire without haggling or any skin in the game, so to speak?
Some collectors seem to enjoy tracking these games down and thrifting more than the game itself.

Pickings are slim in the UK compared to the US, and when I do find a game I want the chances are it'll be in horrible condition. As someone who just wants the game to play it, I have no objection to buying online.

These days the market is insanely expensive and I seriously wonder where people get all the money for this stuff. I'm also wondering if this is going to end up being some kind of passing fad, that maybe once my generation ages out of having disposable income the luster of retro games will wear off from the zoomers and whatever generation will come after them.
Retro collectors* tend to be mid-late thirties and older. So chances are they have a good job, savings, and a mid life crisis. Weebs* tend to have tech jobs that pay high, and are single so they have no problem throwing down money on expensive figurines or rare gaming junk.

*Not counting NEETs or min wage workers of course.

Though I have no idea who's buying weeb games from scalpers. Speculators maybe?


As for it being a passing fad. I've thought about that. NES games only have value now because gen-x who grew up with fond memories playing Mario 3 and Duck Hunt. Maybe a rare few classics will stand the test of time, but I doubt post-zoomers are going to care about owning them on original hardware, assuming that there's any hardware that lasts that long outside of museums.

There's a show called Bangers and Cash. It's about an old car auction house. Old car prices are going through the roof as cars slowly rust, and modern regulations mean they can't make replacements. Almost all the buyers are either dealers, or are old guys who've decided to enjoy their retirement by buying an old car from their youth or wanted but could never afford. Sometimes you get young people interested in quirky cars, but they never seem to put the money down. Sellers tend to be old owners who died, or are retired and are selling vehicles they can't or don't use.

I imagine the future of the collectors market being like that. Retirees who can't really go anywhere any more. They have a pension and a growing realisation they're in the twilight of their life, so they might as well enjoy it.
 

Stasi

kiwifarms.net
I accumulated a decent sized collection of retro games a while ago. For me it was mostly nostalgia - replaying a lot of Mega Drive games on the original hardware and taking a trip down memory lane. However I quickly realised I was not playing most of the games and when it came time to move house I decided to sell off everything rather than dealing with the pain of moving them and having a headache of trying to store them in a small flat. All I have left now is a small (about 20 games) collection of PS1 games I haven't got around to selling and a few consoles.

If I want to play any retro stuff now I just emulate. I honestly don't understand some of these original hardware autists. If you want to collect that's fine but honestly a lot of emulators now are excellent and in some cases better than the original hardware with upscaling, graphical tweaks, save states, wireless controllers etc.

I can only speak for the UK but agree it is a strange market, almost a bubble driven by blind nostalgia, Youtube hype and consoomerism. I have Tronn Bonne and a few Mega Man X games for the PS1 and honestly they are just average. Nowhere near the £150+ they are going for now and I will 100% sell them off when I get around to it. I also enjoy the act of shopping for old games (maybe strange because I hate shopping in general) and it has gotten almost impossible to find decent deals in the wild, nothing like 10 or so years ago when you had a good chance to find some decent stuff out there. Charity shops are a no go now - not just games, I remember reading a few articles about the big ones asking stupid prices for everything and struggling to move stock (surprise surprise). The independent ones are still OK but are dying and COVID will probably completely kill them off. Even markets seem screwed. There is a flea market near where I live and a couple of stalls that sell old electronics ask stupid prices (£10-£20 for common Mega Drive games, £50+ for 10year old core 2 duo laptops). Oh and CeX can eat a dick.
 

agility_

kiwifarms.net
For what "the collector's market" is asking for a copy of Earthbound, I was able to buy a snes emulator console with other games on it and still have +$900 leftover. This is why compilations are a godsend if all you care about is playing the damned things. I own complete copies of some expensive shit like Hagane on snes or Suikoden II on psx, and I wouldn't sell them because I really don't think they're worth the retarded value they go for.
 

whatever I feel like

Disney Diaper Size Fetish Enthusiast
kiwifarms.net
They are branded and sanctioned by Sega itself.
Its still a reproduction, much in the same way that modern day NES releases don't count for collection completeness even though they are really no different than stuff like the unlicensed Tengen releases. I'm really glad that my collection isn't focused on Sega, because of the jewel case issue. Those things are infuriating.
 

ducktales4gameboy

ratatouille is people
kiwifarms.net
Protip for cartridge collectors: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

Just don't use it on the labels. Duh.

These are also known as melamine sponges and can be had super cheap in bulk. They work great.

I've been selling off my collection in the last year or so because I really don't care given how good emulation is, how fragile discs and carts can be and how little time/interest I have in revisiting most of them. What really baffles me in the same way as the repro case discussion is the collectors market's lust for boxes. I've gotten several offers on rare n64 games where people with zero interest in the cart itself offer 3/4ths of the price for the box alone even if it has rental stickers or significant wear, and those offers have been up to $100 just for a damaged piece of cardboard with visible tears.
 

Dark Edea

kiwifarms.net
These are also known as melamine sponges and can be had super cheap in bulk. They work great.

I've been selling off my collection in the last year or so because I really don't care given how good emulation is, how fragile discs and carts can be and how little time/interest I have in revisiting most of them. What really baffles me in the same way as the repro case discussion is the collectors market's lust for boxes. I've gotten several offers on rare n64 games where people with zero interest in the cart itself offer 3/4ths of the price for the box alone even if it has rental stickers or significant wear, and those offers have been up to $100 just for a damaged piece of cardboard with visible tears.
So uh... what are you selling?
 

Judge Dredd

Senior Layout Artist
kiwifarms.net
If I want to play any retro stuff now I just emulate. I honestly don't understand some of these original hardware autists. If you want to collect that's fine but honestly a lot of emulators now are excellent and in some cases better than the original hardware with upscaling, graphical tweaks, save states, wireless controllers etc.
For anything 2D, I agree. SNES, NES, Mega Drive, GBA, they've all had great emulation for a very long time. Nintendo fans are the most baffling because they'll buy a NES collection every hardware generation.

The PC collectors have a point because of how you need specific hardware configurations to run a specific game, and virtual machines/emulators will have flaws that mean the game doesn't emulate right, will run too fast, etc.

3D consoles is where things get a bit vague for me. PS1 emulation works fine, but PS2 is a little too much for my computer to handle without slow down or graphical errors. N64 emulation is getting there and is playable for most games I care about.

One of the other big problems is controllers. You can map the N64 buttons to a 360 controller, but there's going to be compromises. The PS2s analogue face buttons are a pain to emulate for the few games that use them. The DS isn't the same with a controller and mouse, and the GameBoy's shitty screen was exploited by a few games for graphical effects that look like a flashing mess when emulated. We're starting to see modern controllers that are better than the originals for PC and console.

So I'm a stickler for accuracy, at least to a point. I do like some quality of life features. Save states, occasionally I'll use an upscaler or overclock features (60fps Goldeneye and Starfox? Yes.) provided it doesn't break the game.

But then there's attitudes like this.
MikeRewind.jpg
As if passwords, walkthroughs, cheats, and game genie didn't exist.

What really baffles me in the same way as the repro case discussion is the collectors market's lust for boxes.
I remember some collection tour video (I think it was Screw Attack video, which would make it almost a decade ago) where the guy was offering $40 for a specific N64 box to complete the set, just to sit on a shelf in a closet.
 

Stasi

kiwifarms.net
3D consoles is where things get a bit vague for me.
Agree, anything past the PS2 or any console with gimmick controls is a bit hit and miss emulation wise. There are still options for some of them. Playing games off a HDD on a fat PS2 and softmodding a Wii to play gamecube and Wii ISOs off a HDD is trivial (and I have both). For me its about having a convenient way to play these games and have fun rather than bragging on the internet that I have a shelf of X number of games gathering dust or reeing on twitter over someone making a new label for their Atari game.

I think this is exactly the kind of gate keeping faggotry that everyone hates about these retro gamer douches. An unwarranted smug sense of superiority because of childrens videogames. Like Reggie said - if its not fun why bother? And if you have fun using save states or other modern quality of life improvements power to you.
 

Agent Abe Caprine

Goat rights are human rights
kiwifarms.net
We’re currently in peak GameCube nostalgia, so I’m kinda scared to see how high the prices of games like Skyward Sword or Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn will go in about 5 years.
Radiant Dawn had a low print run in the US and sold horribly even in Japan. That game was always doomed to become a collector's item. Better off playing it emulated because of the absurd difficulty spikes in the Western release. Think there's been attempts at fixing them.

Pretty much stopped collecting games actively once I found Okami for the PS2. Got what I wanted now, no need to bother with the ever rising prices. Barely even touch that version of Okami unless I'm testing the image quality of a standard definition display.
 

Marissa Moira

kiwifarms.net
I didn't bother getting a US Copy of earthbound because I got the Japanese release for 10 bucks, got the wii-u digital release, and then later the SNES mini came with it on it.

Panzer Dragoon Saga was a similar deal where I got a nice pristine Japanese release(with the poster) for 10 bucks.

This is how you play PDS in english on original hardware for next to nothing.

I remember getting both the gamecube and wii Fire Emblem games for 10 bucks each because Toys R Us was having their discount Nintendo days. I also remember picking up Fragile Dreams for 20 bucks and Dokopon Kingdom for 17.

Japanese Saturn stuff was really cheap. Guardian Heroes and Burning Rangers were very common and cheap to find.
 
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Marissa Moira

kiwifarms.net
Hey remember those Gamecube store demos?

View attachment 1821001
Holy fuck I remember when even the demo discs were being sold for next to nothing. I'm glad I picked them up.

For people saying that people can be nostalgic for anything and drive the prices up, this is not true, OG Xbox and Xbox 360 are still dirt cheap.

The one thing I hate is now the gamecube era's history is now being "revised" where it secretly was more successful than PS2 and games like Final Fantasy 10 and GTA 3 and San Andreas are just minor footnotes, but shit like Chibi Robo were the behemoths of their day.


The only reason I've got close to 200 gamecube games is because the stores could not give them away(except to me). I have the GBA player and the Disc for it which were being sold well below MSRP.
 

Pissmaster

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Holy fuck I remember when even the demo discs were being sold for next to nothing. I'm glad I picked them up.

I figured those demo discs would shoot up in value. You could grab one of Reggie's turds out of the toilet and encase it in one of those VGM rated boxes and some moron would pay $400 for it. I kept an eye out, though never saw any being sold locally. Oh well.

For people saying that people can be nostalgic for anything and drive the prices up, this is not true, OG Xbox and Xbox 360 are still dirt cheap.

My guess is that Xbox was always seen as a much, much more casual platform, not really as collector friendly as Playstation or Nintendo, and the original Xbox doesn't even have any hidden gems that haven't had some form of a rerelease aside from specifically Jet Set Radio Future. That's also the one lone game left that's the reason anyone would ever want an Xbox emulator, and Sega could drop a remaster of it at any time. Even the more obscure favorites like Metal Wolf Chaos got a remaster.

The one thing I hate is now the gamecube era's history is now being "revised" where it secretly was more successful than PS2 and games like Final Fantasy 10 and GTA 3 and San Andreas are just minor footnotes, but shit like Chibi Robo were the behemoths of their day.

I've noticed that too. Not to as much of an extreme as you put it, but Gamecube was a joke when it was current. There's a throwaway gag at the end of the Zero Punctuation review for Psychonauts that's a perfect example of how people felt about the Gamecube back in the day:


"Psychonauts was released on every console that matters-", showing the PS2 and Xbox versions of the game. Of course, that was 2007, so I guess Gamecube really was a purely kiddy console because I guess the nostalgia crowd grew up and only now is it beloved. Man, it was so bad at the time that the concept that Nintendo might go the way of Sega after the Dreamcast was a common sentiment.
 

Marissa Moira

kiwifarms.net
"Psychonauts was released on every console that matters-", showing the PS2 and Xbox versions of the game. Of course, that was 2007, so I guess Gamecube really was a purely kiddy console because I guess the nostalgia crowd grew up and only now is it beloved. Man, it was so bad at the time that the concept that Nintendo might go the way of Sega after the Dreamcast was a common sentiment.
After how Wii only sold due to wii sports and the wii-u, that was 3 lackluster consoles in a row that never regained the glory that the n64 enjoyed.

The switch is still a console with many retarded decisions that went into it's hardware design but it's better than the previous 3 consoles by a good margin.
 

Massively Strong Greed

Thanks for the money, dummy!
kiwifarms.net
Radiant Dawn had a low print run in the US and sold horribly even in Japan. That game was always doomed to become a collector's item. Better off playing it emulated because of the absurd difficulty spikes in the Western release. Think there's been attempts at fixing them.

Pretty much stopped collecting games actively once I found Okami for the PS2. Got what I wanted now, no need to bother with the ever rising prices. Barely even touch that version of Okami unless I'm testing the image quality of a standard definition display.
There’s no difficulty spikes in the Western release; they just removed Easy mode and renamed Normal to Easy, Hard to Normal, and Lunatic to Hard.
 

whatever I feel like

Disney Diaper Size Fetish Enthusiast
kiwifarms.net
Hey now, OG Xbox games were shooting up last I checked. Granted, that was over a year ago and its possible that Gamepass and online re-releases (that aren't even 40 dollar remasters!) killed that surge.
 

Massively Strong Greed

Thanks for the money, dummy!
kiwifarms.net
I figured those demo discs would shoot up in value. You could grab one of Reggie's turds out of the toilet and encase it in one of those VGM rated boxes and some moron would pay $400 for it. I kept an eye out, though never saw any being sold locally. Oh well.



My guess is that Xbox was always seen as a much, much more casual platform, not really as collector friendly as Playstation or Nintendo, and the original Xbox doesn't even have any hidden gems that haven't had some form of a rerelease aside from specifically Jet Set Radio Future. That's also the one lone game left that's the reason anyone would ever want an Xbox emulator, and Sega could drop a remaster of it at any time. Even the more obscure favorites like Metal Wolf Chaos got a remaster.



I've noticed that too. Not to as much of an extreme as you put it, but Gamecube was a joke when it was current. There's a throwaway gag at the end of the Zero Punctuation review for Psychonauts that's a perfect example of how people felt about the Gamecube back in the day:


"Psychonauts was released on every console that matters-", showing the PS2 and Xbox versions of the game. Of course, that was 2007, so I guess Gamecube really was a purely kiddy console because I guess the nostalgia crowd grew up and only now is it beloved. Man, it was so bad at the time that the concept that Nintendo might go the way of Sega after the Dreamcast was a common sentiment.
Conker: Live & Reloaded is nice too. It may be censored, but it is gorgeous for a game from 2005.
 
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